The UK property market is going through some big changes, and if you're looking to buy a home, you're in luck.
Recent research from Zoopla reveals that buyers have the upper hand, with sellers knocking off an average of £18,000 from property prices.
In the first half of November, the average discount on house purchases hit 5.5%, the highest since 2018. This trend is even more pronounced in London and the southeast, where buyers are getting an impressive 6.1% discount, roughly £25,000.
The shake-up in the property scene traces back to Kwasi Kwarteng’s "mini-budget," which led to increased mortgage costs and changes in political leadership. The Bank of England tried to steady the ship by keeping interest rates at 5.25%, but the market keeps moving.
While mortgage rates are getting friendlier, sellers are feeling the pressure to drop their prices. This buyer-friendly environment reminds experts of the conditions in 2018, but this time, sellers are more realistic, leading to a 15% increase in transactions compared to last year.
One reason for this buyer's paradise is the increase in homes for sale – a six-year high. There's a good supply of three- and four-bedroom family homes, but despite this, buyer demand is still 13% lower than in 2019.
The research also shows a change in house price inflation, dropping from 8.2% to -1.2%. Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reveal a 0.1% dip in the average home price in the year to September, the first fall in over a decade.
Richard Donnell from Zoopla says these are the best conditions for buyers in years. Sellers are waking up to the fact that the value of a home a year ago doesn't matter much in today's market.
Even though prices are higher than pre-pandemic times, sellers still have room to negotiate. Donnell expects sales to slow down before Christmas, with some homes taken off the market and put back up for sale in the new year.
Interestingly, some areas like parts of Scotland and inner London are holding up well in terms of house sales. Guy Gittins, CEO of Foxtons, points out that London's property market is less affected by market ups and downs compared to other places in the UK. London homeowners might see a boost in activity from Boxing Day into the new year.
In a nutshell, if you're thinking of buying, now is a good time. More homes are available, and sellers are willing to make deals. And when it comes to making those quick transactions, bridging lenders can be your best ally in navigating this exciting market.
Source: The Guardian